Moore said a lot of those that came under criticism had received assets in the post-Soviet years by non-market mechanisms. "Some of the worst is behind us," she said.
Buying Into Russia
There are signs of new investment interest in Russia from U.S. multinationals, including Pepsi's acquisition of Wimm-Bill-Dann, a juice and dairy company. Russia's government commission on foreign direct investment and strategic sectors announced Tuesday that it approved the acquisition.
Just this week, General Electric, the parent of CNBC, also said it was forming ventures with state-controlled OAO Inter RAO UES and Russian Technologies to produce equipment for Russian energy and health care systems.
"Pepsi bought Wimm-Bill-Dann, one of the biggest consumer companies. People think of it as a dairy company, but it has a broader reach. Developed companies are looking at the big growth opportunities, and they're looking at Russia. The consumer culture is somewhat more evolved than China," Moore said.
She also said the equity market is a laggard, and it provides opportunity. Russia is expected to see GDP growth of 4.5 percent in 2011, and its stock market currently has a P/E of 6.5, well below the P/E of 12 for emerging markets, as a whole. "It's nearly half the U.S., which is trading at 13 times," she said.
"You have to say, 'If we're bullish on growth, and we're bullish on commodities prices, does Russia really deserve that much of a discount?'" she said.
"From an equity perspective, Russia was a massive laggard in 2010, both in terms of valuations and in terms of price performance. Russian energy was one of the least loved sectors and it's a major part of the equity index," she said.
"As people look at 2011, fairly bullish oil and commodity prices, and seeing that Russian energy was a laggard, they are rotating into it," she said. Russian stocks were up about 15 percent in 2010, compared to Mexico, for instance, which rose 23 percent. South Africa rose 24 percent.
Moore said besides consumer and energy, technology is an interesting growth area in Russia because the government is paying a lot of attention to it. She also said upcoming local elections this year may also spur more government spending.
"The other part of the macro story is the ruble story. When we look at other currencies, we're actually pretty bullish on the ruble. We have a fairly higher appreciation on the ruble than we have on other currencies," she said.
"We're talking about the economy accelerating from 2010 to 2011 when other emerging markets are slowing down," he aid.
Another likely event in the coming year is that the reserve funds Russia built with petrodollars will be spent, and the government will need to find other ways to fund projects. "That will give them an opportunity for the government to float more debt, and we think there's big demand for emerging market paper," she said.
Where Else to Buy
Moore's global favorites after Russia are India, Singapore and Brazil. Within Eastern Europe, she also likes Poland and is neutral on Turkey.
"Poland could be a sort of decoupling story, especially if contagion drags down Central Europe. It has a fairly more insulated economy, and it could continue to perform pretty well," she said.
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